Front Page
December 9, 2005

It might be viewed as business as usual, as far as the composition of the House goes, since basically the same representation obtains as after the March 28, 2001 general elections. The Unity Labour Party (ULP) retained its 12 seats though there were changes in the percentage base of the popular vote.

The final count on which confirmation of the results would have been made was expected yesterday. That is even more necessary given the closeness of some constituencies in this contest. {{more}}

In North Windward, ULP incumbent Montgomery Daniel overcame the challenge from new comer Elvis Daniel to romp home.

The ULP’s Selmon Walters convincingly beat debutante Brereton Horne in South Central Windward, while Glen Beache, son of former representative Sir Vincent Beache, in his first outing, had little trouble disposing of Lennox Daisley, who was also facing the polls for the first time in South Windward.

ULP incumbent Girlyn Miguel had few headaches from newcomer Advira Bennett in an all-woman contest in the Marriaqua Valley. On the other hand Dr. Linton Lewis, who had returned home after a failed attempt in West St. George in 2001, made strides in eroding some of ULP incumbent Clayton Burgin’s support in East St. George.

The veteran ULP Mike Browne retook his West St. George seat, staving off a stiffer than expected challenge from former ambassador Kingsley Layne, whom some had thought might have been a walkover.

The ULP’s Conrad Sayers clipped St. Claire Leacock in Central Kingstown in a heated and much anticipated encounter. The balance could have shifted similarly in West Kingstown where Tourism Minister Rene Baptiste breasted the finish line just ahead of NDP’s Daniel Cummings who was facing the polls for the first time.

In South Leeward former schoolteacher Nigel Stephenson of the NDP surprisingly pushed Dr. Douglas Slater to the limit, though falling short of wresting the seat away from the doctor.

In Central Leeward it was third time lucky for ULP deputy leader Louis Straker who retained the Central Leeward seat, helped in no small measure by home base support in Layou. His opponent Norrell Hull, from the town of Barrouallie, had credible support from his compatriots to register a decent losing result.

The ULP’s incumbent Dr. Jerrol Thompson came home in a razor’s edge contest with Patel Matthews for North Leeward in a repeat battle.

East Kingstown had been called the mother of all electoral battles and turned out to be just that right down to the end when Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace finally emerged the three-time winner in East Kingstown actually winning by his largest margin thus far, over one hundred votes. The hard-working Julian Francis could not achieve the victory desired, which Michael Hamlet thought was within his grasp on two occasions.

In the Northern Grenadines, Dr. Godwin Friday stayed clear of a credible challenge from Herman Belmar, while Terrence Ollivierre dismissed Edwin Snagg’s bid in the South giving the NDP once again the two Grenadines seats.

December 7 was a misty day, marked by heavy rains, drizzles, and muted sunlight, but there seemed a determination by the voters to exercise their franchise.

There were moments of hushed anxiety as the results unfolded. But by nine p.m., the trend had emerged and ULP supporters were on the streets in spontaneous celebration. Trucks, some with speakers blaring ULP campaign songs as well as contemporary Soca hits, provided music for revelers clad in various forms of red garments. Some carried banners with the images of successful candidates, flags, and other symbols, anything to join the jubilation.

ULP party faithful took over the streets of Kingstown until close to midnight, and the Police officers did little to curtail the festivities. Others, in overloaded vehicles in some cases, clogged the streets in the act of jubilation.

Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves announced to the nation that there will be another day next week for planned celebrations following Thursday’s “day of rest”, but he has been back to work already.

He was slated to be sworn-in for his second term yesterday morning (Thursday) at Government House. Soon after, he was to link with Prime Ministerial colleagues at a Cuba/Caricom Joint Commission meeting in Barbados.